Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Where did she learn that?

Lilian was in the bathroom with me as I was trying to get ready this morning. She had climbed onto the edge of the bathtub and from there to the sink where she had found the toothpaste. "Mommy, open it!" "No Lilian," I said, "you can't have the toothpaste." I took it out of her hand and put it back where it belonged. Lilian looked at me with a bit of a pout on her face. "Don't you love me?" she asked. And there you have it...at age 2, already employing tactics of manipulation. What are we in for when she gets older? (And no, actually, it didn't work. I stood firm.)

Saturday, June 27, 2009

"It's a beautiful day in this neighborhood..."

Our neighborhood has a big carnival every year. Early in the morning they have adult bike rides and a fun run. A little later is a kids parade. The carnival games and inflatables take up most of the afternoon. And then the evening tops off with a BBQ and a outdoor movie. It's chaotic craziness but tons of fun and a great yearly tradition. And as I sat with my next door neighbors at the movie...the 3 older kids all with their own little groups of friends...I felt a great sense of satisfaction. This place, these people...it feels like home. A place where we belong. It's a good feeling.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Home Again

Rebekah is back from Girls Camp with stories of HUGE bugs, gross bathrooms, very little sleep and pranks which included the older girls sending the Beehives on a snipe hunt and coming back to find their bras hanging from the front porch. Ah, it's the stuff of memories. She had a fabulous time and we're glad to have her back.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

I'm Conflicted

I'm in two choirs. Millennium Choir with Lex de Azevedo has met on Wednesdays for the past 11 years. I joined the Sally Bytheway Chorale 4 or so year ago. They meet on Thursdays. And so, although at times a busy and slightly difficult juggling act, I've been able to sing with both groups. This past week I recieved notice that Lex was making some new and exciting changes to the Millennium Choir. Most of these changes thrill me...all, but one. The change of rehearsal night. He wants to meet on Thursdays. So now I have to choose. And I admit, I'm really struggling with it. You would think that one choir is more or less like another. I get to sing either way. But it's not that simple. And without going into details that would make this post way too long, I'll just say both of these choirs are amazingly unique and different in their own way. Enough that they both fill different needs in me. I've been going back and forth, my mind making pro and con lists for each all week. And I'm still no closer to making a decision than I was when I started. My heart hurts and I know that whichever way I decide there will be regrets.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

High Praise

A comment from Brandon while sitting at the dinner table:
"Mom, this dinner is so good that if I didn't know better I would've thought Dad made it!"
Is that a back-handed compliment or what?

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Girls Cousin Camp

Top: Julianne, Emily, Megan and Rebekah
Bottom: Kaitlyn, Carol and Elizabeth

Rebekah and Julianne just got back last night from a week long cousin camp. In this, the 4th year of cousin camp, Bryan's parents decided to split the kids up a bit instead of one HUGE cousin-palooza. The six oldest granddaughters started things off with a weeks trip to St. George. Crafts, shopping, hiking, sand dunes, a show at Tuacahn, an afternoon at the movies, and oh...did I mention swimming? Rumor has it that a goal was set to fit swimming in each and every day they were there. Apparently that goal was acheived. I can't even imagine how much sunblock they went through! Rebekah and Julianne have peppered us with stories of their adventures ever since they arrived home. Lynn and Carol....what amazing people you are! Thank you for providing our girls with the kind of adventures, experiences and love that memories are made of.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Smiling While Doing Laundry

With Katie's help, I hung this vinyl on the wall of my laundry room yesterday. Isn't it funny? When I saw it at the store a couple of months ago it made me laugh. And I figured that anything that makes you laugh while doing loads of never ending laundry was a good thing. So I went back and bought it this week as a reward for cleaning and organizing my laundry room.

R.I.P. "Pushing Daisies"

Every now and again a TV show comes along that exceeds all expectations, that is so delightful, so creative, so fun that you eagerly anticipate watching another episode each week. "Pushing Daisies" was like that for me. I'm picky about my TV shows. I don't ever channel surf or watch something just because it's on. Because I Tivo everything to watch later after the kids are in bed, I'm usually pretty sure it's something worth my time.
I read early reviews about "Pushing Daisies". I was hesitant....sounded a little odd, but decided to try it out. Within 2 minutes of watching the first episode I had a grin from ear to ear. It was just magical! So quirky, creative, colorful, and witty. Absolutely wonderful! And I knew that day that "Pushing Daisies" would join "Gilmore Girls" and "The West Wing" as some of the best television ever made. Well, in my opinion, anyhow. But sadly, after only 1 and 1/2 seasons it has been canceled. And it makes me wonder, who is the clueless one here...the one that can't recognize a masterpiece when they see it? Is it the network executives that weren't willing to give it more faith and time? Or the dummed down public that just couldn't get it? Well, whatever/whoever was at fault... Rest In Peace "Pushing Daisies". I'm SO buying the seasons on DVD.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Making Memories

The ever persistent rain we've had for the past 2 and 1/2 weeks tapered off enough today to let us use our season splash passes to Cherry Hill for the first time this summer. Now don't get me wrong....I've been loving the rain. My love affair with snow in winter actually shares equal footing with rain in summer. And the near constant rain has also given me a good excuse to not mow the lawn which has been nice. (I have been choosing to turn a blind eye to the neighbors who have all found little patches of dryness in which to get their lawns nicely manicured....) But the kids have been complaining mightily and begging me mercilessly to take them swimming at Cherry Hill...dark clouds and coolish temperatures, be darned! Today the sun came out and the temps were hovering around 75 so we packed up our gear and headed over. Lilian, not remembering her experiences last year, looked like she was in heaven surrounded by all those pools, fountains and slides. Brandon walked in, sighed, looked up at me and remarked, "Ahh! Mom, it feels so good to be back. Just SO good!" And it did. This is our 6th year with passes to Cherry Hill and we are making some mighty fine memories. I'm glad. When I was a kid we had yearly passes to a community pool called Cabana Club. It wasn't anything as fancy as Cherry Hill....just a big pool with a couple of slides, a baby pool and a snack bar. But oh, the memories! I want my kids to have memories like that. I think they do. And I hope to make many more this summer.

Saturday, June 13, 2009


...the birth of sweet Cameron David. Born June 10th to proud parents Kevin and Kari. Bryan and I are thrilled to have another nephew...the kids, another cousin. And can I just say what a tough woman Kari is? She decided months and months ago that she wanted to do this labor natural. No epidural. Not something I'd ever want to do, really, but I know that many women have that desire/goal. So Kari did some serious preparation in anticipation of this labor and delivery. She did oodles of research. She and Kevin went to classes. She practiced meditation and relaxing techniques. She was prepared physically and mentally when her water broke early morning on the 10th. And even though this labor went for a good 14 hours or so....kind of long for a 5th baby....she stuck with it! And she did it! And I can't even tell you how impressed I am with her! And how proud! And even slightly envious, in a way. Because even though all births are special, wonderful, memorable little miracles...not only did she end up with a sweet baby as a result, she also achieved a huge goal. And I've got to think that somehow, that makes the whole event a little sweeter, you know?

Lilian was so excited to meet her newest cousin. And Kevin was so sweet to help her hold little Cameron.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Dream Cars

Rebekah has been babysitting a lot lately. And making a lot of money....babysitters are paid VERY well these days. She informed me yesterday that she was going to start saving up her babysitting money to buy a car when she's 16. This is her dream car:
Julianne says Rebekah is crazy. No way would she want a green slug bug. When she's 16 she'll be hoping to get this:
Me? I drive a big, monster Ford Truck so I can do all sorts of hauling....from loads of dirt and patio furniture to baby strollers and kids. But MY dream car? It would be some sweet BMW like this:
Yeah. Dream on. All of us.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Little Red Riding Hood

I did the Little Red Riding Hood up in Cache Valley yesterday. It's an organized, all women, bike ride. 2,600 women riding routes ranging from 15 miles up to 100. Seeing that up to this point my longest bike ride was 17 miles I signed up for the 37 mile route.... figuring that 37 was do-able but with a healthy dose of pushing it. And even though most of the others going up with me were going to try for 100, I thought I would be mighty proud of my 37...especially since it was only the 5th time on my bike. But my friend Brenda...sweet Brenda who I'm trying to decide if I want to hug or kick right now....talked me into doing more. And I now have bragging rights to 60 miles. 60 MILES!

(Brenda, Me, Ann, Melanie, Brooke, Emilie and Sarah getting ready for the big ride. Don't you love all of our funky clipless biking shoes?)

But can I just tell you how much I hurt? Honestly, I hurt and ache much more than I did with my triathlon. Maybe it's because the triathlon only took me 1 hour and 51 minutes to complete and this took me 5 and 1/2 hours? Maybe it's because I spent so much time training for the tri but didn't really take this ride as seriously? Maybe it's because a big bike ride like this is just plain harder than a tri? Well, whatever it was, it took me by surprise. I'm sitting VERY gingerly today. I would climb back onto my bike after a rest stop and chant "ouch, ouch, ouch..." to myself until my poor behind would go back into it's numb, but uncomfortable, state. It was better than the pain. After awhile my hands would start tingling and going numb from leaning so hard on the handlebars so I changed my hand position often. After about 50 miles my legs started cramping up. Why, oh why, did I do this to myself? But did I mention my bragging rights? I'm awfully proud of those 60 miles. Even if it means, along with the whole sitting gingerly thing, that my kness and legs ache like I can't remember them ever aching before. Sore shoulder and arm muscles. Sunburn. But it was a lovely ride. Cache Valley is beautiful. Mostly flat terrain. A few brutal uphills. Which eventually led to some exhilirating downhills.

(Me, Brenda, Sarah D. and Ann after it was all over.)

Some things I learned. Wind is NOT a bikers friend. Unless it happens to be a tailwind. But we never got that lucky. Crosswind for at least a good half of the ride.
Another thing. Time is measured differently on a bike. It's not minutes you're thinking about but miles. How many miles have I come? How many miles till the next rest stop? I was stunned when I realized how many hours I'd been out.
And one last thing. It probably really is worth it to invest in a nicer, padded bike seat.
So, will I do it again next year? Probably. Maybe I'll do the 48 mile route so I don't over-do it like I did this time. Or maybe I'll have ridden my bike so much by then that I'll shoot for the 100. Time will tell. All I can say right now is I don't even want to look at that bike for at least a good week or two!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Favorite Photo Friday: Flower beds

This was the first day of school August 2006. And, funny enough, today is the last day of school 2009. But that's not why I chose this picture. Not even to show you my cute kids. (Honestly though, aren't they cute?) The reason I chose it was the flower bed. I had really good flower beds that year. I've been trying to recreate that look in my flower beds here in my new house and have been spending a lot of time outside that past few days planting flowers and spreading dark brown mulch. Isn't it amazing how nice and manicured flower beds look with mulch? Guess we'll see in a few months if my work this past week can bring blooms to rival those of my old house in 2006.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Unexpected Messes

See this? This is my craft/scrapbook room. I let the kids have free reign of it recently to make homemade cards and bookmarks. I'm thinking a talk about how to clean up after themselves is in order.

And this? This is Lilian after eating (playing with) leftover chocolate birthday pie. Hours later I'm still finding chocolate in odd places. An example? In the crease of her eyelid! Sigh....

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Happy Birthday Lilian

My baby is 2 years old today. I let her do some of her favorite things today. We rode up and down the escalator at the mall 3 times. We bought balloons. We had a chocolate birthday pie instead of a boring, old cake. We went to the park and slid down the slides over and over again. What a sweet and wonderful addition to our family she is. The feelings I have for her almost overwhelm me sometimes. Oh, how I love her!

Blessing day at 2 months old.

6 months old...a curler in her hair, a snotty nose and a muffin crumb face. What could be cuter?

9 months old at Disneyland with Daddy.

1 year old stuffing cookies in her mouth at Cherry Hill.

16 months old....enjoying the rocks on the ground more than the planes up above at the Aerospace Museum.

18 months old and playing a sheep in the Christmas Nativity.

2 years old and dressed up by her older sisters.
Goodness! How she's grown!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Things That Have Made Me Happy Recently....

*Watching a new episode of "Pushing Daisies" this past Saturday. It's the most creative, quirky, fun show on TV and I honestly think the executives that canceled it have screws loose.
*Eating an Original Scholotsky's sandwich on sourdough. I thought all the Scholotsky's were long gone. Imagine my delight when I discovered the last one in the valley this past Friday. Oh, it was good!
*Singing "The Girl in 14G" at my voice recital on Friday. An awesome piece that lets me sing three different characters in one song!
*Working in the yard with Bryan. I get such satisfaction out of working on a project with my husband.
*"Star Trek".....the most fun I've had in a movie theater in a long time.
*Sitting out on the back deck wrapped in a fluffy blanket and reading a book while listening to the rain patter on the roof.
*Auditioning for and getting the lead part of Mabel in a local summer production of "The Pirates of Penzance".